(I’ll get some pictures up soon!)
You’ve been to the overly touristy Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, hit up the expansive Warorot Market and felt a little more in-the-know, and even grabbed an evening tom yum noodle soup at the Chang Phuak Night Market, but have you yet ventured into the bustling, traffic-ridden, senses-awakening local markets of Chang Phuak and Pa Tan?
My go-to market, perhaps because I live only a couple minutes away, is the Thanin Market or Thalaat Thanin, just off of Chang Phuak Road. You’d be hard-pressed to find more than two Western faces wandering the maze of food stalls, if any at all.
On one side of the market is a sit-down patio area where you can browse through menus of the abundant vendors. A slushy juice comes in at only 15THB and a delicious pad ka prow muu (basil pork), kuai tiao nam muu daeng (rice noodle soup with red pork), or any other meal comes in at a standard 30-35THB.
Opposite the seating area is my favorite section, filled with dozens of vendors selling colorful kanom ciin (sweets), khaaw niaw (sticky rice), phonlamaay (fruits) of all varieties, baked goods, meats, seafood, and prepared meals. Typically, you have to order “klap baan” if you want “takeaway,” but here there is no need. Just walk up to the tables laid out with huge vats of curries, veges, stir-frys & soups, then take a big whiff and follow your senses! Remember to ask “Phet may kha/khrap?” (spicy?) or you’ll be runnin’ to the hong naam (toilet) within the hour.
There is a wonderful mix of vegetarian and carnivore options and all that I’ve tried have been delicious, albeit somewhat adventurous. I’m Asian, so there’s actually not much that surprises me here. Some of my favorites are century egg and pork stew, garlic and basil eggplant, and veggie-shrimp stirfry. After you make your 30THB purchase, head down the lane to the nearest rice vendor and get a bag of khaaw niaw for 5-10THB. Dinner in front of your TV complete!
You’ll notice the shops surrounding the whole of the market – not much to look at unless you’re into Chiang Mai fashion, but head to the large beauty store at the west corner! They have a fabulous range of beauty supplies for both men and women, from shampoos to facial masks to cologne/perfume to makeup to lotions–you get the point. Both designer brands and generic brands are available for great prices (no bargaining-it’s local).
Thai Language Tips: "kh" pronounced as a hard "k" (khaaw = cow) "k" pronounced as a "g" (klap = glap) "ph" as a hard "p" "p" as mix between "p" & "b" (Pai = bai) Two same consecutive vowels is an elongated word (khaaw = cow, but hold your mouth open a second longer)